A public floating food forest will come to the Brooklyn Army Terminal this summer

Posted On Mon, April 23, 2018 By

Posted On Mon, April 23, 2018 By In Art, Brooklyn, Green Design, Sunset Park

Swale in 2017, photo via Subhram Reddy.

A 5,000-square-foot edible perennial garden will travel to the Brooklyn Army Terminal this summer, offering up New Yorkers the chance to harvest fruits and vegetables on top of a barge. The floating food forest, Swale, docked in Manhattan last year and featured an apple orchard surrounded by garden beds. This year, the 130×40 foot barge will set up along the Sunset Park waterfront between May 5 and July 1, and be free and open to the public on the weekends.


Swale in 2017, photo via Katharina Keifert


Swale in 2017, photo via Katharina Keifert

Founded in 2015 by sculptor and photographer Mary Mattingly, Swale first launched at Concrete Plant Park in the South Bronx, as a way to address the neighboorhood’s issue of food scarcity. According to the company, as many as three million New Yorkers live in communities with limited access to fresh produce. Since its first barge in 2016, Swale has hosted 200,000 visitors across five boroughs.

In addition to weekend hours and school field trips, Swale will host regular public programs focused on wellness, environmental issues and public art. Workshops include ones about permaculture, water filtration, medicinal plants and soil science.

Mattingly describes Swale as a “call to action.” On its website, she says Swale “asks us to reconsider our food systems, to confirm our belief in food as a human right and to pave pathways to create public food in public space.”

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Neighborhoods : Sunset Park

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